The famous sea side temple. Tanah means earth. and Lot (lod) means south or sea. Thus something like "temple of the earth in the sea". Like so many other temple in Bali, Tanah Lot is connected with the famous Brahman Priest, Danghyang Nirarta, who wandered from Java to Bali inthe 16th century. On one of his journeys he decided to sleep in this beautiful spot and than afterwards the Balinese to erect a temple here. This is one of the six most holy temples for all of Bali. Many Balinese love to sit on the beach overlooking the temple in the late afternoon, watching the tides change and enjoying the silhouettes of the temple mere against the brilliant setting sun.
Carved out of the landscape by tides wind and rain, the huge offshore sentinel rock of Tanah Lot is the site of a picturesque sea temple. There is a bridge connecting the mainland and below the Water line there are reputed to be large caves, the guardians of the temple.
The temple as a whole is dedicated to the god of the sea. Fishermen pray to get fish and prosperity. A story mentions that one of the shrine at Batukaru temple was lost, and was found here standing at Tanah Lot temple complex. It was very probable that the temple was built by Mengwi kingdom as the sea temple. A kingdom in Bali normally had 3 main temples, one located near the sea, one in the city or near the palace, and one on the mountain or near the mountain. This concept of 3 temples has also influenced the smaller unit of Balinese settlement in the level called " Banjar ". Every Banjar in Bali has also 3 main temples dedicated to different way of worshipping the gods and ancestor's spirits.
Now only 3 villages that responsible for the temple those are all nearby villages of Braban, Kelating, and Tibu Biyu, and still as the temple for Mengwi palace. The ceremony is performed every 6 month, based on Hindu-Java calendar which is already printed out during November every year.
For tourists, it is not only the traditional magic of the temple is interested, but the location in the natural setting, especially during the sunset, the temple changes into silhouette against the sunsets above Indonesian ocean.